The landscape of American politics changed on Wednesday as Joe Biden was inaugurated as the 46th President of the United States. And with that, likely to follow, comes a return to norms for many American sports franchises.
Visiting the White House after winning a championship has become a rite of passage for teams across professional sports in the U.S. Paul Pierce got to visit the Bush White House, one of the last pro sports teams to visit Bush, with the 2008 Champion Celtics, and many teams took pride visiting the Obama White House from 2009-January 2017.
But when Donald Trump took office in 2017, everything quickly changed. Paul was on hand for a turning point in that tradition when The Jump visited Warriors Media Day in 2017 and Rachel Nichols asked Stephen Curry his thoughts on visiting the Trump White House. His answer led to plenty of fallout that changed the tradition over the next three years. Watch below.
Trips to the White House should be back on under Biden. But more than a ceremonial acknowledgement of success, Paul believes the change at the top will open a previously closed door for players. He thinks the Biden administration will embrace players making their voices heard at the highest level, and that, in turn, players will actually feel like someone is listening, not dismissing and ridiculing them.
“For one, players are going to be able to go back to the White House, the champs,” Paul said. “But two, I think there are going to be more conversations had with the NBA leaders about initiatives they can have within their community and how they could help. Being that the NBA is such a loud voice through all this systemic oppression that we’ve gone through. It’s going to be an exciting time just to open up those conversations again with the NBA players.”
Watch the Jump talk more about the change the Biden administration will bring below.